Investor Beat -- December 5, 2013

On Thursday's edition of Investor Beat, host Alison Southwick and Motley Fool One analyst Jason Moser dissect the hardest-hitting investing stories of the day.

In cities across the country, fast-food employees are protesting for a $15 minimum wage. McDonalds, Burger King, and Yum! Brands are bearing the brunt of their anger. Industry opponents to the proposed wage increase argue that a hike would mean increased automation, fewer jobs, and higher costs for consumers; but how would it impact investors? In our lead story on Investor Beat, Jason discusses the likelihood of a minimum wage increase, and which restaurants are in the best shape to withstand a wage hike.

Then, Jason and Alison look at three of the day's movers and shakers. Apple's potential customer base just increased by 700 million, so why doesn't the market care? General Motors is done with Chevrolet and focusing on Opel in Europe. And Dollar General may have just beat earnings expectations; but when you dig into the numbers, it gets a bit smoky.

And finally, with 609 stores in 46 states, Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance is the largest beauty retailer in the U.S., and expanding quickly. Ulta reports earnings after market on December 5, and in today's final segment, Jason explains why he's keeping a close watch on this attractive stock.

The changing face of retail
To learn about two retailers with especially good prospects, take a look at The Motley Fool's special free report: "The Death of Wal-Mart: The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail." In it, you'll see how these two cash kings are able to consistently outperform and how they're planning to ride the waves of retail's changing tide. You can access it by clicking here.

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